Over a third of the legislative session is now complete, and there is still no agreement on many of the major issues noted as priorities for this year. However, recent indications lead to optimism that the two parties still may be able to come together on an omnibus agreement that could address several of the budgetary issues facing the state. A possible deal could include issues that both sides have raised over the last several years, including creating a dedicated source of revenue for transportation, revisiting the hospital provider fee, scaling back taxes like the business personal property tax, and easing business regulations.
The state’s next quarterly revenue forecast will be released on March 17 and will drive final figure-setting decisions by the Joint Budget Committee for the FY17-18 budget, which will be released shortly thereafter. Indications are that the existing $600 million deficit in the Governor’s budget request will grow to a larger deficit. This makes funding decisions more complicated but could also compel agreements on bi-partisan solutions because the alternative cuts are untenable to both sides.
Below is a summary of some relevant pieces of introduced and expected legislation.
HB-1193 Small Cell Facilities Permitting – Deals with permitting and installation of next generation wireless infrastructure.
All five of the bills essentially cover all points of the construction defect debate, but a clear path for a meaningful agreement on the issue has yet to emerge.
|Energy & Environment|
Expected Legislation: Similar legislation from past sessions, including wage theft, ban the box, and family medical leave act insurance plan.
Expected Legislation: The Lt. Governor is working on a package of bills that will deal with almost every aspect of healthcare policy. Bills are expected on transparency for healthcare products, health plan participation in individual market, transparency/consumer rating system, and free standing ER facility fee codes.
|Automobile – Technology||
Expected Legislation: Car manufacturers are planning on introducing autonomous vehicle regulations for the state to help spur the new market.